It’s the nascent morning hours after the COP in Paris announced news that the COP21 summit in Paris has resulted in an agreement between the party members in support of a draft agreement towards keeping global temperatures below 2 degrees centigrade by 2100. With the torrent of news (and excitement) coming out of Paris in this historic moment it’s important to separate some of the facts from the hype and celebration.
The “agreement” is a draft report and has yet to be signed.
Yes, the party members at Paris which include representation from governments, private firms, as well as non-governmental agencies from around the globe have agreed to move forward with language for a multilateral international agreement. However, signatures have yet to be collected on the document and it will be available in its final form in NYC starting April 2016. Final edits may be forthcoming and the full picture of which countries are participating has yet to be fully disclosed.
The language of the draft does not appear to bind signatory parties to outcomes.
The report does a good job of applying broad coverage of the issues facing the future of our planet in terms of the economic, environmental and social consequences of unbridled climate change. However, it does not establish road maps towards implementation of strategies that can result much needed financing, development, and final implementation of emission reduction strategies.
Before jumping to conclusions about what results can be anticipated from this latest development, it is important to review the complete language the draft proposes and apply an air of both optimism as well as skepticism.
The full draft is available for download in all UN languages from the UNFCC: